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Two-day outage exposes phone problem

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By Chris Foreman
Monday, July 1, 2013, 5:18 p.m.

A two-day power outage at the Penn Township offices on Municipal Court last week exposed a phone-service issue that officials will rectify for future emergency circumstances, manager Bruce Light said.

The problem arose the morning of June 26 because a transfer switch that connected the building to a generator got stuck and didn't shift back to electrical service from West Penn Power.

Phone service through Comcast also was down on June 26 because the township's phone equipment, which runs off a computer, was plugged into an outlet that was not connected to the generator, Light said.

Because township officials use the municipal building as a command center during emergencies, they will have some electric work done soon to correct that situation, Light said.

Though the employees didn't have air-conditioning during the outage, the building stayed open during business hours on June 26 and 27 for residents to come in and visit offices.

The Penn Area Library, which is in the same building, reopened in the afternoon on June 27.

Terri Knupp, area manager for FirstEnergy, West Penn's corporate company, said the outage was isolated to the municipal building and didn't affect any other buildings nearby.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or

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